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On the brighter side ...
Lacey and Derek Thompson took advantage of low home prices, low interest rates and their stable employment last year when they bought their first home.
Married less than a year ago, the couple was tired of “throwing money away” on rent when what they wanted was to live in their own home and be able to make improvements to it as they wanted, Lacey Thompson said.
The 21-year-old and her 23-year-old husband decided the low housing prices, low interest rates and their job stability — she’s a medical receptionist, he’s a machinist — gave them more than enough reasons to buy now.
They started looking at financing options just before they were married in August 2010, Thompson said.
“A lot of people told us, ‘Have fun, you’re going to sign your life away,’” she said. “But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was more a matter of finding the paperwork and getting it to Arthur.”
Thompson said they went through Arthur Buhrer at Clift Mortgage because her parents had gone through him to refinance their house.
It took a couple of days to gather the pay stubs, tax returns and other paperwork necessary. After that it was just two weeks until they were approved, which was a pleasant surprise, she said.
“We were surprised we got it because we’re so young,” she said.
But the two didn’t have any student loans, car payments or other debts and both had decent credit from the credit cards they got as teenagers, she said.
“It all depends on your job stability and what kind of bills you have,” she said.
The Thompsons got a Federal Housing Authority loan, requiring 3 percent down. Fortunately, Derek Thompson’s father and grandfather had the foresight to set up an account for him when he was a baby so the money would be available when he became an adult, Lacey Thompson said.
On 2.5 acres near where her parents live in Sequim, Lacey and Derek Thompson found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house they fell in love with. It also had a small house in the back they could rent to her younger sister, Lacey Thompson said.
They made an offer in December 2010 and it was accepted.
Thompson said the process of obtaining a mortgage wasn’t too difficult but she advises people to find out their credit scores and pay off their bills before applying.
“Have all your ducks lined up,” she said.
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.